And we were asked to set an intention for the year, what word will be our mantra to motivate us?
At first I thought of soft and sweet and Oprah-Approved words, like Balance, but after actually giving this some thought, I realized that my mantra for this year is Obsession. As in strong feelings, great motivation, a single-minded focus on an effort.
I used to be very capable of this. I can use knitting as an example. When I started knitting again, around oh, 1999, after a hiatus of over a decade, I was as excited about knitting as is humanly possible. I wanted ALL the patterns, ALL the yarns, I wanted to KNIT ALL THE THINGS! And for several years I really did. I knit with morning coffee and before bed. I took knitting on business trips. I had an obsession. Then it became one of the things I did, and I still enjoyed it and I still get excited about new yarn and can lose an evening to browsing patterns on Ravelry now and then, but I've lost that PASSION. It faded.
I've had various passions in my life, from cooking to writing to reading American history and science fiction, all things I still enjoy and haven't really abandoned, but again, they are just things I do now, they aren't a big focus of my life. My life lacks an obsession to center it, and I need one more than ever right now.
I'm not that big on signs and portents, but I do believe in listening when things are slapped down in front of me. I was browsing podcasts on iTunes, and on a whim did a search on yoga, and found Yogabody Podcast. And the title alone is something I would normally have passed up. Face it, when a magazine says "yoga body" it creates a picture of a sylph-like 25 year old model in an advanced yoga pose that features her ass in fancy leggings, so my first impression of this podcast was perhaps somewhat tainted. But I read the topics of this "yoga talk show" and was intrigued.
I have issues with my feet. I have a not-quite-a-bunion thing happening at the first joint of the big toe of my right foot (but not my left) that I attribute to decades of corporate high heels. My foot doesn't look deformed, but the joint is slightly enlarged and gets angry if pressure is applied to it, or if I wear heels for a special occasion. It then demands at least a week of unattractive "comfort" shoes before it forgives me. Yes, Internet, I am now one of those old ladies who have to find shoes that can accommodate my "bunion." And lo, this podcast had an entire episode devoted to issues with FEET, with an interview with a podiatrist/yoga teacher. I'll be wearing the toe spreaders I'd tossed in a drawer, thank you Lucas, and I'm already "getting my money's worth" from a free podcast.
Another episode was about making yoga really part of your life with a home practice, and boy did this ever resonate with me. I have attended yoga classes and have a yoga studio five freaking minutes away, but their class schedule is useless to me. The classes I want are offered while I'm at work. I've taken classes at actual yoga studios over the years, but I've never been one of those people who goes to an evening class once a week. Home practice was always emphasized. We went home with handouts and homework. So I found myself nodding along (while folding sheets or whatever I was doing) to the podcast. I also cringed a few times, as he described the DIY yoga session where you just sort of make up your own series of poses until you get a text on your phone. Guilty. Oh so very guilty.
So there you have it. I had Adriene's Revolution program pop up on Facebook, followed within 48 hours with a yoga podcast that is not about tightening the ass but occasionally about kicking it. Got it. I don't need to be kicked in the head (BTDT) and I am committed to following up on my urges. A new obsession is out there!